December 3, 2021

Formal complaint: Arrest requirement for assaultive offenses

The complainant alleges that an Austin Police officer used excessive force against the complainant, resulting in injuries. OPO recommends this complaint receive a B classification.

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NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. (a) The manner in which the suspect made contact with the victim, or (b) the nature of observable physical marks on the suspect's body allegedly caused by the suspect's contact with the victim, and 2. The suspect is still on-scene; and 3. The assault meets the definition of "family violence" or "dating violence." (b) If both parties have been assaulted, officers shall make reasonable efforts to identify the primary aggressor. Arrests of both parties should be avoided unless warranted. 1. If officers at the scene cannot determine the primary aggressor, an on-duty supervisor shall be contacted to make the determination. 2. If the on-duty supervisor cannot determine the primary aggressor and there is adequate and articulable probable cause to believe that each person contributed to the violence, supervisors may authorize officers to make multiple arrests. (a) Officers shall write probable cause affidavits for each of the arrests and direct file the charges. (b) The name of the supervisor authorizing a multiple arrest situation shall be included in the incident report. (c) Officers shall not use mediation at the scene as a substitute for appropriate reporting and enforcement action when physical violence has taken place. (d) Officers shall arrest for assault by threat or assault by contact if no physical violence has occurred that resulted in bodily injury, but circumstances reasonably show that further violence is likely to happen. Supervisor approval is required when the arrest is made from inside a residence. (e) Supervisors may authorize an exception to an arrest if there are articulable facts that lead a reasonable person to believe the alleged suspect was acting in self-defense. The facts leading to the decision for an exception shall be fully documented in the incident report, along with the name of the supervisor approving the exception. (f) In felony incidents involving family violence the on-call investigator from the Domestic Violence Unit shall be contacted by a supervisor when: NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. (a) Serious or life-threatening injuries are sustained, regardless of whether an arrest is made; or (b) A crime scene is complex and may require a response and/or the assistance of a unit detective (ex. search warrant, high profile cases, etc.). Notification simply due to a felony offense occurring or a felony arrest being made is not required. Should an officer or supervisor determine or feel that a notification to the Domestic Violence Unit in these situations is necessary, such notification should be made via email at family.violence@austintexas.gov. Recommended Classification: The OPO is permitted to make a preliminary recommendation on the classification of administrative cases. The OPO recommends this complaint receive a B classification.
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